Hallisey Making Up for Lost Time in Sophomore Season As Princeton Men’s Hockey Continues to Show Progress
FIGHTING FOR RESPECT: Princeton University men’s hockey player David Hallisey, left, battles a foe for the puck in a game earlier this season. Last Friday at Penn State, sophomore forward Hallisey chipped in two assists as Princeton rallied from a 4-0 deficit to draw within one goal before succumbing 6-3. A night later, Hallisey scored the lone goal for Princeton as it fell 4-1 in an exhibition game against the USA Under-18 team. The Tigers, now 4-9 overall, are next in action when they host No. 3 Quinnipiac (15-1-2) on December 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
David Hallisey is making up for lost time this winter in his sophomore season with the Princeton University men’s hockey team.
After being sidelined for much of the 2014-15 campaign with a wrist injury, forward Hallisey has emerged as a key performer for the Tigers, scoring nine points on two goals and seven assists through 13 games, tying him with freshman Ryan Kuffner as the team’s top scorer.
Last Friday at No. 16 Penn State, Hallisey assisted on two third period goals by Eric Robinson as the Tigers rallied from a 4-0 deficit to draw within one goal before succumbing 6-3. A night later, Hallisey scored the lone goal for Princeton as it fell 4-1 in an exhibition game against the USA Under-18 team.
“I had surgery, it is working well now so hopefully that continues,” said Hallisey, a 5’10, 180-pound native of Wethersfield, Conn.
“Coach (Ron Fogarty) always tells me that this is like my freshman year again.”
Hallisey likes playing on the same line with classmate Robinson and junior Ben Foster.
“Eric is probably the fastest kid I have ever played with, he has a lot of talent and a lot of potential,” said Hallisey. “He is very creative. Ben Foster is the rock of the line.”
Hallisey believes he is getting more out of his talent this season. “Probably having a little more poise and getting more comfortable on the ice,” said Hallisey, reflecting on the progress he has made since his freshman year. “Seeing things over and over again, you start getting more used to it.”
With Princeton at 4-9 so far and having already matched its win total from last season when it went 4-23-3, Hallisey believes the Tigers are getting better all over the ice.
“I think it is just everywhere, everyone is getting better,” said Hallisey. “I think we have a lot more skill on the team. I think we have a better team bond than we did last year, there is a lot of chemistry between the guys.”
A key benchmark in the program’s progress came two weekends ago when Princeton won 4-2 at Brown and 4-2 at No. 10 Yale.
“That was the first time we have done that in quite a long time,” said Hallisey, reflecting on the weekend, which was Princeton’s first sweep of Yale and Brown on the road since the 2007-08 season.
“Just to prove to ourselves that we can do that was big. We came back out on the ice with a lot more confidence and a lot more jam.”
That confidence was displayed on Friday when Princeton battled back from a 4-0 third period deficit at No. 16 Penn State with three goals in a four-minute span.
“We were down four last night and kind of had a spark that turned the team around a little bit,” said Hallisey.
In the loss to the U.S. team, Hallisey was hoping that his third period goal would provide a similar spark.
“That one came off a quick transition, a couple of passes pieced together caused them to start scrambling,” said Hallisey.
“There was a shot from the point, a couple of tips, and the goalie opened up his 5 hole and I tapped it in.”
Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty is looking for more production like that from Hallisey.
“We are excited to have David for the second half, we didn’t have him for half of last year because of the injuries,” said Fogarty.
“I am looking forward to seeing his progression. Basically he has had his freshman year in terms of games played so now we will see what he can do as a sophomore.”
Hallisey’s linemate, Robinson, is doing a lot in his sophomore campaign as he now leads the Tigers with six goals.
“Eric Robinson has been our most improved player because he is taking care of the defensive side of the puck and from underneath and utilizing his speed,” added Fogarty. “He has had a better than expected first half.”
Princeton’s all-freshmen line of Max Veronneau, Alex Riche, and Kuffner has also exceeded expectations.
“They have been excellent,” asserted Fogarty. “They don’t know any better; sometimes being naive is great and they are naive. They don’t know what they are supposed to to do, they just go play hockey.”
In Fogarty’s view, getting the chance to play against the U.S. squad was a great opportunity for his program.
“They are fun games, I am not sure the last time they played at Princeton so it is good for those guys to come out this way,” said Fogarty.
“They are going to play Neumann tomorrow. It is a good match, they do well. They are future college players. Every game is a test for us, we treat it the same way and we learned a lot tonight.”
With Princeton not having a game now until December 29 when it hosts No. 3 Quinnipiac (15-1-2), Fogarty hopes his players keep treating things seriously.
“I want to keep playing, maybe it is good for the guys to get a break,” said Fogarty.
“You just want to make sure that the guys keep the mental part up on break. They need to remain mentally sharp and know that they are continuing good habits individually to help the team.”
Hallisey, for his part, plans to stay sharp as he looks ahead to the second half of the season.
“I am definitely going to do a lot of skill work; I am not going to skate too much,” said Hallisey.
“I will take some time off but continue to stay in shape. I love the end of the season, building into the playoffs. It is the most fun part. We have got Quinnipiac when we get back, it is always fun going up against a top team, hopefully they are still ranked that way.”